Gift Guide

Underwater Counting

( 1 )


Striking digital paintings coupled with lighthearted verse and engaging facts make this the perfect book for bird lovers old and young. Readers count 20 colorful backyard birds as they gather at the feeder.

As a cat patiently waits, birds from one to twenty land at a feeder. Includes information about the various species and the seeds they eat.

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Striking digital paintings coupled with lighthearted verse and engaging facts make this the perfect book for bird lovers old and young. Readers count 20 colorful backyard birds as they gather at the feeder.

As a cat patiently waits, birds from one to twenty land at a feeder. Includes information about the various species and the seeds they eat.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Backyard birds throng a hanging feeder in this counting book, arriving in pairs until they number 20. The cat has been lying in wait, but just as he finally pounces, the furry "gray streak" of a squirrel swoops in and the birds-chickadees, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, sparrows, cardinals, finches and more-take wing. Stiffly rhyming couplets narrate the slight story ("The number of birds/ grows larger so fast,/ The cat still watches/ the birds that fly past"), while prose captions briefly describe the feeding and social behaviors of each avian arrival. An appendix tells how to identify the male and female of each species. Mazzola's (illustrator of The Crayon Counting Book) bright digital paintings combine backgrounds of airbrush-like softness with foregrounds of almost photographic detail, lending the illustrations depth and luminosity. The attractively designed pages frame the text and illustrations with twig borders. By compelling readers to find what's new in each picture, the book trains the eye to differentiate among species. It's too bad the text is not as airborne as the art. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Frank Mazzola proves counting is not just for the birds, but it can be a fascinating way to learn about all different kinds of birds. Silhouettes indicate the relative size of different species, and small print under each little poem provides facts about what the birds eat and how they live. Perfect for ages 5 to 7 as a read-aloud and counting book, or for older kids to read on their own.
Children's Literature - Dr. Beverly Kobrin
The male and female of ten species populate the pages of this book. Mr. Mazzola's rhymes describe the birds attracted to tree-hung feeders; his prose provides a few facts about their food and behavior.
From The Critics
This counting book has many interesting aspects: colorful, breathtaking pictures of unusual fish, interesting details about various fish species, counting with even numbers, and the fun of seeking cleverly hidden numbers throughout the book. A great gift possibility. 2001, Charlesbridge Publishing, $6.95. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: C. Henebry SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2One by one, birds arrive at a feeder until a total of 20 are clustered at the spot. A squirrel scatters the flock, thwarting a patient cat who lurks in the background. This versatile book invites more than one reading to absorb the variety of concepts presented. It is, first of all, a counting book with a flowing, rhyming story, but it also gives information about birds in both text and illustration. Each double-spread includes basic facts about physical characteristics and behaviors, specific foods birds prefer, and types of feeders to use. The attractive format successfully separates concepts while maintaining continuity in presentation. Illustrations are all computer-generated, digital paintings that are amazingly realistic, clear, and sharp. Birds are easily identifiable with bright colors that remain true to nature and are attractively framed by a twig design. One disconcerting note is that all of the background scenes are of summer while many of the birds are those most often associated with feeders in winter. While some people do leave feeders out year round, experts suggest that birds are better off depending on their natural environments when food is readily available. While all the information found here can be located elsewhere, and counting books abound, this combination of counting, rhyming, story, facts, and the visual appeal of the unique presentation succeeds at all levels.Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Featuring increasing numbers of fish and other ocean dwellers, this colorful book counts from 0 all the way up to 50. Single- and double-page spreads introduce each numeral and show the corresponding number of underwater creatures, along with short paragraphs of anecdotal information presented in a chatty, sometimes humorous style. For example, Pallotta's description of two coral groupers reads: "If you were this fish, people would say you had measles, chicken pox, or really cute freckles." In addition to manta rays, parrotfish, leopard sharks, and many other eye-catching species, there are also whale lice, elasmosaurs (ocean reptiles that lived at the time of the dinosaurs), and fishing bats. The realistic artwork, done in Adobe Photoshop, shows dusky underwater scenes. Some of the illustrations are quite striking; in one, a moray eel looks straight at readers with an intense blue-eyed gaze, and in another, large sailfish leap gracefully above the ocean's surface. Unfortunately, some of the images seem to have slightly blurred edges. As the numbers increase, counting the objects becomes more difficult, as the fish are very small, partially hidden, or mere shadows. Providing only sketchy information, this offering may appeal to browsers interested in aquatic wildlife or to sharp-eyed kids who enjoy the challenge of searching illustrations for minute details.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An effective beginning backyard-bird book is muddied with the addition of poetry and counting to its equation.

Beginning with a lone feeder, pairs of birds flock to feast, creating the numbers 020. Each numbered pair is coupled with a short, rhymed verse that depicts actions and habits of birds such as cardinals, downy woodpeckers, sparrows, and tufted titmice. The body of the text is verse, followed by brief factoids about the bird. This is the war of the formats: The same information presented in poetic form is often needlessly restated in the factual paragraph. A crafty cat stalks the feeder, waiting to pounce, à la Lois Ehlert's Feathers for Lunch (1990). High- resolution digital illustrations painted onscreen using a personal computer are detailed with the precision of a photograph, appropriate for identification but lacking a heartbeat.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881068009
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 633,461
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.77 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Pallotta is an award-winning author of children's alphabet books and imaginative fiction. His books combine interesting facts, detailed research, humor, and realistic illustrations that mesmerize children everywhere. Jerry lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 26, 2013

    Underwater Counting is a number book and a concept book.  I wait

    Underwater Counting is a number book and a concept book.  I waited a bit to give this book to my four-year-old son because I thought he might find it confusing: With exception of 0 and 1, this book counts to 50 by twos.  When I did give him this book, however, he recognized the numbers up to 30.  I know he doesn't understand the counting-by-twos concept right now, that will come in time, but he does recognize the numbers.  The facts in this book are interesting enough to engage the adult readers, and the text is well-written.
    Underwater Counting is also a visually stunning book.  The vibrant illustrations seem to swim off of the pages, and are so accurate, this book could be used for reference.
    My son loves the aquarium and loves numbers -- this book is perfect. 

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